Freshly BrewedMadhya Pradesh

Surprise Pick? Lawyer-turned-CM Mohan Yadav Takes Over Madhya Pradesh, Leaving Veterans Behind

Who is Mohan Yadav, the 19th CM of MP? A strong Hindutva voice, appointed as chief minister, symbolizing the transition of BJP and a new era in the heartland of India's politics

Bhopal: The announcement of Mohan Yadav to be the next Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh marks the end of the road for the team led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani in the State. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has opted for a change in the leadership in Madhya Pradesh, as it has decided to pass on the chief ministerial post to a second-rung leader Yadav.

Yadav, 58, was part of the state cabinet in the outgoing Chouhan-led government, serving as the minister for higher education.

The choice of Yadav, OBC will see the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo taking unhindered control over the party in Madhya Pradesh where it was in power for the last over 18 years, said a senior party functionary.

The party wants to end the dominance of Advani era leaders in the party.

It is in this context that after BJP’s resounding victory in the Assembly elections, some of the front runners for the top post were four-time MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Ministers Prahlad Patel, Narendra Tomar, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, state unit chief VD Sharma and union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. By extension, Sharma and Scindia didn’t contest in the elections, so naturally, Chouhan, Patel, Tomar, Vijayvargiya emerged as the biggest contenders for the top post. All were seen as potential successors within the Advani-era BJP leadership.”

Eventually, the last two-decades of BJP rule marks the impression of Advani era in the State.

All the three CMs Uma Bharti, late Babulal Gaur and Shivraj Singh Chouhan were popularly known choices of Advani and late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

It is almost as if the BJP has decided to quietly phase out all remnant leaders from the Vajpayee Advani years as the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah led BJP builds a new hierarchy, a former cabinet Minister said.

The former education minister’s elevation as the chief minister has given MP its second OBC CM after late Babulal Gaur. According to political analysts, with Yadav as the CM, the BJP will have several OBC faces in significant positions – they are – Bhupendra Yadav, Nityanad Rai, Rao Indrajit Singh, and Annapurna Devi are union ministers, Sudha Yadav is part of the party’s parliamentary board, Hansraj Ahir heads the OBC Commission.

It also marks the end of the era of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was the state’s CM for most of the last 20 years, barring a 15-month period (2005-2018 & 2020-2023).

Who is Mohan Yadav, the 19th CM of MP?

Yadav, a lawyer by profession, has done Master’s in political science. He has MBA and PhD degrees as well.

On becoming a legislator for the first time in 2013, Yadav was made chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) between 2011 and 2013, a time when State tourism was awarded by the President in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 for sustainable development of tourism in Madhya Pradesh.

While the BJP was unable to retain its fort in the 2018 assembly elections, the former president of Madhav Science College Student Union, Ujjain who rose to become national Secretary of the ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) was lucky. He was elected as an Assembly member for the second time and took oath as Higher Education Minister on July 2, 2020.

A strong Hindutva voice, Yadav, as higher education minister included Ramcharitmanas as one of the new optional subjects for under-graduates students in philosophy, along with lessons on the miraculous engineering of Ram Setu in September 2021.

On December 3, for the third time he was elected assembly member from Ujjain South assembly constituency and was appointed Chief Minister by Governor Mangubhai Patel on Monday, December 11.

Outgoing and BJP’s longest serving CM Chouhan congratulated him. “Hearty congratulations to hardworking fellow Mohan Yadavji on being nominated as the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh in the BJP Legislative Party meeting. I am confident that under the able guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, you will take Madhya Pradesh to new heights of progress and development and will create new records in the field of public welfare. Many congratulations and best wishes for this new responsibility! (sic)” Chouhan posted on X.

Though this transition from Chouhan to Yadav or to Modi-Amit Shah in MP has been in the making post 2014 general elections, the process has been far from smooth. What Yadav’s elevation indicates the lasting impact of the episode will lie in the image BJP wishes to project to the people – as a people power in any manner it deems fit.

Anup Dutta

is a multimedia freelance journalist based in Bhopal. He reports on people, politics, policies, health, art and culture.

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